Move over Pandora and Spotify—Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is about to enter the music industry. At least that’s the opinion shared by UBS analyst Steven Milunovich as he reiterated a Buy rating on Apple last week with a $150 price target.
Apple has teamed up with Beats to create a music streaming service to challenge existing streaming services. New speculations that the streaming service will have a social networking aspect to it have led Milunovich to believe that it “edges into Facebook’s world.” The analyst describes rumors that “Apple’s coming steaming music service will include a social networking platform that connects artists and consumers.”
Milunovich continues, “This would be another example of Apple complementing its vertically-integrated hardware with multi-sided platforms, strengthening the ecosystem or Applesphere as we call it.” The social network aspect of the streaming service would allow artists to have their own pages on the platform, allowing them to build their business and brand on it. Apple has allegedly been trying to lure artists to sign up for exclusivity with the platform. More details are expected to be revealed on June 8 at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Milunovich added, “A music platform might not be financially material but underscores Apple’s approach to bolstering the ecosystem and monetizing services.” Milunovich has rated Apple 30 times since July 2012, earning a 76% success rate recommending the stock with a +15.8% average return per AAPL rating.
Other analysts are making bullish ratings on Apple in preparation for the WWDC conference, at which analysts expect the company will provide updates on Apple Watch sales and the new iPad. On May 26, analyst Rod Hall of JP Morgan maintained an Overweight rating on Apple, though he did not provide a price target. Instead of focusing on Apple’s new streaming platform, Hall directed his rating on Apple’s television ambitions.
The analyst explained that Apple’s ambitions to break into television have “complicated its negotiations with the broadcast TV networks, because most broadcasters don’t own all their local stations, and have an affiliate, or franchise system.” However, Hall is confident that Apple’s “negotiating power for additional content” will improve as more people begin to use the platform. As for revenue, Hall clarified that he does not “expect Apple to make much on whatever TV subscription service they might roll out at first.”
Rod Hall has rated Apple 13 times since April 2014, earning a 100% success rate recommending the stock with a +24.7% average return per AAPL rating. On average, the top analyst consensus for AAPL on TipRanks is Moderate Buy.